Question: How do I apply for the AAS or BS Online Program in Medical Laboratory Sciences?
Answer: You must first apply to Weber State University (online application) and then the AAS or BS online program. The application procedure for our department can be found on our website for the Online BS Program and Online AAS program. Application deadlines are February 1 for fall semester and September 1 for spring semester. Since it takes about 8-10 weeks to have your transcripts evaluated and posted to your records, it is advisable to have your WSU application complete prior to applying to the MLS department by the deadlines.
Question: What are tuition costs? Is financial aid available?
Answer: Current tuition and fees can be found on the WSU Costs page. It is very difficult to quote an exact amount that the program is going to cost. It depends on how many general education classes you will need to take, how many support courses you will need to take, the cost of books, etc. Scholarships and financial aid are available for online students. Please visit WSU Financial Aid for more information.
Question: When will I know if I have been accepted into the program?
Answer: Applications are reviewed and ranked by the MLS faculty during March and October. Acceptance packets are sent one month following the review and ranking. These packets will contain all the information and forms required to complete the acceptance process and allow you to register for AAS/BS MLS coursework.
Question: Can I fax you my transcripts and have you tell me what will transfer and what courses I will still need to complete?
Answer: When you apply to Weber State University, you are required to have a copy of all previous transcripts sent for evaluation. It can take 8-10 weeks for these transcripts to be evaluated by the University transcripts department. After they are evaluated, we can then advise you as to your standing with general education and departmental credits.
We can look at a copy of your unofficial transcripts prior to applying to the University to give you an idea as to departmental standing ONLY in regards to support courses and program requirements. The general education courses are extremely difficult if not impossible for the MLS reviewer to determine without having your transcripts formally evaluated by the admissions office. Each student and school will be different and transcripts (if they are faxed) are very difficult to read due to the special paper used. You may fax them to 1-801-626-6125 Attn: MLS Online Department. Please be sure to include contact information as well as a brief summary of your circumstances (this is very important as the online department talks to many potential students). Please note that WSU will not accept your transcripts if they are from an institution that is not regionally accredited.
Question: Can I begin taking courses before I've been accepted into the program?
Answer: Yes, although you cannot take AAS/BS MLS courses until you are officially accepted and we receive the required paperwork, you can take general education courses or program support courses before acceptance into the program. You may also take the online orientation class (1 credit hour) prior to being accepted (MLS 1001 class for the AAS program and MLS 3001 for the BS program). All of these courses are offered online. Please review the AAS degree requirements or the BS degree requirements. If you would like to receive an information packet, please feel free to request one.
Question: What are the requirements for acceptance into the AAS or BS MLS online programs?
Answer: To be accepted into either program you must be employed in a medical laboratory. In the past, we have had students who have been sponsored by a medical laboratory in which they were not employed, and this is a possible option, however, we have had much more success in working with students that are already valued employees in a medical laboratory.
All of the clinical competencies that accompany AAS/BS MLS coursework are performed in your place of employment during the semester you take a particular course. A statement of support from the laboratory manager must accompany your application. You can download and print a copy of the Statement of Support. Next, your facility and WSU will need to enter into a legal affiliation agreement.
On occasion, you may need to have a medical laboratory that agrees to sponsor you for specific departments that are not present in your place of employment. For example, if your laboratory does not perform blood bank services, then you will need to arrange for your laboratory competencies to be completed at another laboratory that agrees to sponsor you.
Applicants for the BS program must be certified as MLT(ASCP), MT(AMT), or MT(AAB). A copy of this certification must accompany the application. Three years of experience in a medical laboratory is required only for Utah residents completing the WSU on campus AAS program.
Question: What if I have not had any prior college classes?
Answer: Because this is an academically challenging program, we ask that you have at least 30 hours of college credit including the successful completion of at least three of the five listed support classes with an acceptable grade prior to taking any MLS classes. WSU also requires that you take placement tests for English and math and complete those classes early in your academic career. These courses are required for an AAS degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences and are all offered online, all three semesters. This will give us a chance to evaluate your performance as an online student and will help you succeed in the MLS program. The support classes are:
- CHEM 1110 Elementary Chemistry (Inorganic) 5 credits
- CHEM 1120 Elementary Organic/Biochemistry 5 credits
- HTHS (Health Sciences) 1110 Biomedical Core (Anatomy) 4 credits
- HTHS (Health Sciences) 1111 Biomedical Core (Physiology) 4 credits
- MICR 1113 General Microbiology 3 credits
Question: Can an international student apply to your program?
Answer: Yes, if you meet the application requirements. But this has proved to be very difficult. You must perform your laboratory competencies in a medical laboratory that is accredited by U.S. standards (JCHAO, CAP, COLA, CLIA, etc). As a potential student, you must also have your foreign transcripts evaluated by a Foreign Credential Evaluation service and apply to WSU as an international student.
Question: I received MLT training in the military. Will this affect my program status?
Answer: Military students must be certified as MLT(ASCP), MT(AMT), or MT(AAB). We can grant 32 hours of credit towards MLS requirements for military experience. It typically takes military students longer to complete the program, as they have to fill all of their general education courses as well as support classes.
Question: How does the laboratory portion of your online programs work?
Answer: All of the didactic information for the courses is given in an online classroom. Laboratory skills are learned, practiced and perfected to the required level of competency in your place of employment while working with a qualified mentor. Your mentor(s) will sign off your skills on the competency checklists during the semester you are registered for a particular class. The competency portion of the online program should not be fulfilled during your normal working hours but rather as ‘off the clock’ training. Some BS level classes are project based and do not require a mentor. There are no additional clinical rotations to perform once you have passed the course associated with the laboratory competency.
Question: How many hours in the lab are required?
Answer: It will vary each semester depending on the courses you take. There are certain MLS classes that have laboratory competencies that need to be performed in the lab. How many hours you need to spend depends on the class credit hours. For every credit hour you need to spend at least that much time each week in the lab on average. For example, if you are taking MLS 2211 Clinical Chemistry which is a 5 credit hour course, you would need to spend a minimum of 5 hours per week on average in the lab working on the chemistry competency checklist with a qualified mentor. Fall and spring semesters are 16 weeks long so by the end of the semester you would need to have completed 80 hours minimum doing chemistry competencies. Please keep in mind that this is the minimum requirement. Your laboratory may feel that you need to spend more time to become competent in a particular subject. Be prepared to spend more time if asked by your laboratory.
At the beginning of each semester, the student, mentor and lab manager should discuss scheduling times for the student to participate in the laboratory routine, based on when they can best fit into the workflow and complete their required tasks. To be able to complete the tasks, the student will need access to laboratory procedure manuals and laboratory instruments from the facility. As part of NAACLS accreditation regulations, the student should not work on their clinical competencies as part of their regular work duties.
Question: My laboratory supervisor is concerned about the laboratory competencies. What information does he/she need to know?
Answer: The laboratory competencies should be reviewed by your mentor in advance. The CLA course is MLS 1000, AAS courses are at the 1000-2000 level, BS 3000-4000.
A mentor is required to train you in the skill required and make sure you achieve the level of competency associated with the skill. All of the didactic material is delivered through the online courses. Performance of these skills is learned on the bench in the student’s place of employment. The mentor does not serve as a clinical instructor but should be available to answer questions, serve as an evaluator, and check-off core laboratory competencies. Facilities reserve the right to assign other qualified clinical personnel to assist with the academic efforts of the student on an as-needed basis. Educational support facilities (in house or public systems) should serve as proctors for online written examinations. The mentor cannot serve as the student’s proctor. Laboratory competencies should not be performed during the students working hours but on the student’s own time.
Question: What courses must I complete before applying to the AAS/BS MLS programs?
Answer: The AAS program has a prerequisite of successful completion of 30 semester hours of college credits which needs to include at least three of the lower division support courses before formal admittance into the program. The MLS department will provide academic advisement and other help during the time you are taking those classes.
Applicants to the bachelor's MLS program must have passed the MLT(ASCP), MT(AMT), or MT(AAB) certification. If you have not completed all of the lower-division support courses, you will be asked to complete these prior to starting the courses in the bachelor's program.
Question: Should I complete all of my general education requirements and support courses before starting AAS/BS MLS courses?
Answer: No. In fact, it may take you longer to complete your degree if you take this approach. Most AAS/BS MLS courses are taught fall and spring semesters only. Summer semester is an excellent time to complete support or general education courses.
Question: How long will it take me to complete the AAS or BS program?
Answer: Typically most on-campus students with a full-time course load can complete each program in two years. Online students typically average two courses per semester because of work and family responsibilities. Depending upon prior coursework completed, it will typically take additional time for online part-time students. You are not restricted in the number of classes you take each semester, however, a full course load (12 or more credits) of online classes is not recommended.
Question: What do you look for in an application when deciding whom to accept for your online programs?
Answer: Applications are evaluated on the following criteria:
- Grade point average from previous college courses
- Statement of support (all areas checked for the program you are applying for)
- Work experience in a medical laboratory
- Successful completion of English requirements (English 1010 and English 2010)
- Successful completion of Math requirements (Math 1030 or higher)
- Successful completion of BS support courses or AAS support courses
Question: Will I need to visit the campus for any part of your online program?
Answer: You are not required to visit the campus but are encouraged to attend graduation if you're able.
For other inquires contact the Senior Online Program Coordinator, Julie Kakazu at:
firstname.lastname@example.org , (801) 626-6120
Online Academic Advisor for BS degree inquiries, Cindi Kranek at:
email@example.com , (801) 626-8546
Online Academic Advisor for AAS degree inquiries, Kandi Tait at:
firstname.lastname@example.org , (801) 626-6785